Events of Interest December 17, 2021

Dear Acton Conservation Trust Members and Other Friends,

ACT Trustee, Jody Harris, posted this picture of the Quabbin Reservoir on our Instagram page from her recent visit. To see more photos, go to our Instagram page.

Quabbin Reservoir, Gate 27, New Salem MA

Now through Saturday, January 1, 2022 
Fifth Annual Littleton Little Town Tree Hunt! 
All Day 
With the help of local organizations and businesses a dozen or so individual trees will be decorated for tree hunters to find within the conservation areas in town. Find all of them (documented by photos with you and the trees) and be entered to win one of ten prize packages. This is a fun, free, outdoor family event—so grab some friends, trek through the forests, and find some trees! A list of areas with trees to find, as well as other information, is available on Facebook: or by email:

Now through January 2, 2022 
Groton Winter Tree Stroll 
All Day 
We are thrilled to invite you back to see the decorations for the second annual Groton Winter Tree Stroll. This year, we welcome you to visit us at The General Field, Bates Land, and Shepley Hill to see decorations installed by many local non-profit organizations. Check out all the trees by following the Winter Tree Stroll Facebook page for more details, photos, and directions.

Thursday, December 16, 2021 
Jump Start Your Seedlings with Energize Wayland 
7-8:45 PMOnline over Zoom 
SVT’s friends at Energize Wayland are hosting Freddie Gillespie of the Native Pollination Systems Task Force.  This free online event will explain the process of a winter sow, a terrific method for starting seeds earlier than you thought possible.  Sow your seeds in a milk jug that becomes a mini greenhouse that allows the seeds to germinate several weeks ahead of direct sowing.  The plants are sown in their mini greenhouse outside, eliminating the need to harden seedlings off.  You will learn about the importance of pollination systems in our natural places.  How to support declining species of native pollinators in your yard, in public spaces and on conservation lands.  A Winter Sow is an economical and easy way of providing native plant seedlings for a native pollinator conservation garden. Register now for this event.

Saturday, December 18 
Cold Moon/Full Moon 
It reaches peak illumination at 11:37 PM EST  
What make makes this full Moon Special?  It’s most distinctive for its high trajectory across the sky, which results in the full Moon sitting above the horizon for a longer period of time. Cold Moon – a Mohawk name that conveys the frigid conditions of this time of year, when cold weather truly begins to grip us.   It’s also called the Long Night Moon (Mohican) as it rises during the “longest” nights of the year, near the winter solstice.  The Dakota call it “Moon When the Deer Shed Their Antlers”.  

Tuesday, December 21
Winter Solstice Sunrise Walk 
7 am – 8 AM 
Half Moon Meadow Brook, Boxborough 
Join SVT member George Krusen to view the winter solstice sunrise through the stone structures at Half Moon Meadow Brook, and hear the legends of their origins from leader George Krusen for a magnificent viewing.  An Annual SVT favorite.  Register Now.

Tuesday and Wednesday, December 21, 22 
Winter Solstice Walk at Walden Pond
12-1:30 PM 
Walden Pond, 915 Walden St., Concord, MA  
Meet at the replica – all ages 
Celebrate the longest and shortest days of the year!  Join a one-mile round trip guided walk along the Pond Path with a sprinkling of seasonal readings to Thoreau’s original house site.  Check here for more information.

Tuesday, December 21
Musketaquid Winter Solstice Celebration
6:00 PM 
The Old Manse, 269 Monument St., Concord, MA – side lawn
Bonfire; Drumming by the Drum Nomads; Solstice Ceremony at a 6:30 PM 
This event is free but registration is required. Sponsored by the Umbrella Arts and Environment Program.  Limited parking for those who have pre-registered will be available at The Old Manse and the Old North Bridge/Robbins House lot.  Please carpool or walk if at all possible.  If you wish to sign up for a parking pass, please click here: PARKING PASS.

Thursday, January 2, 2022
Audubon’s 122nd Christmas Bird Count
The Christmas Bird Count for Acton, Boxborough, Concord, Littleton, Harvard, Westford and others is January 2.
Midnight to midnight
The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends.  Tens of thousands of participants know that it is also a lot of fun.  Data from over 2000 circles are entered after the count and become available to query under the Data and Research link. Find a count near you and sign up to participate.  Please visit for more information.  For more information re: Acton area (Acton, Littleton, Harvard, and Westford), contact Andy Magee, 978-263-0683,

Saturday, January 8 
Emmet Land January Hike
10-11:30 AM Emmet Conservation Land – meet at Trailside Way, off Powers Road in the town parking area of the cul-de-sac, Westford
With over 500 acres of protected open space, the Emmet Conservation Land and Mass Audubon’s Nashoba Brook Sanctuary provide miles of trails to enjoy.  Join Trust member Kate Hollister as we explore some of them in the quiet winter season.  Snowshoes or traction cleats are recommended depending on conditions.  Sociable dogs on leash are welcome.   Walks are free of charge, no sign up required.  For further information, call Kate at 978-392-6802.  

January 13 Who will own my land next?
2nd Thursday of each month, November 2021 – April 2022, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 
Hosted by UMass MassWoods
This six-part webinar series for landowners will feature relevant professionals to provide information and help answer questions. Sign up for individual webinars or the entire series. Learn more and register.

  • February 10 – How can I reduce my property taxes?
  • March 10 – How can I conserve my land? 
  • April 14 – What are the financial benefits of land 

Sunday, March 13 
Preview of ACT Annual Meeting:  New Conservation Strategies for the 21st Century – presented by Claudia Thompson
6:15PM Business Meeting; 7 PM – Presentation
Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street, Room 204,  and/or Virtual 
Fight Climate Change with a Nature Based Solution: Climate change and loss of biodiversity are the critical ecological challenges of our time.  To address these crises, conservation efforts must become much broader and more inclusive than has been the norm, so that they engage virtually all citizens throughout our communities.  The extent of our current human impact, and the fragmentation of our landscapes over the past one hundred years, clarify the need – every piece of land, large or small, public or private, deserves careful stewardship so that it becomes part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem.  Using her garden as a case study, Claudia will discuss valuable lessons learned over several decades as she transformed her small urban property into a landscape rich with habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife.  Much can be achieved.  Indeed, the significant challenges before us are motivating many people to action.  The growing native plant movement, with its focus on landscapes as ecological systems, instead of gardens as adornments, is an essential component of 21st century conservation strategies.


Making Offshore Wind Safer for Wildlife – from Mass Audubon Advocacy, December 13, 2021
In response to a request for research ideas from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Mass Audubon and our partners expressed support for studies advancing development of collision detection and minimization technology at offshore wind facilities. These studies will be crucial for truly responsible development of the industry.

Supporting Forests and Flood Planning – from Mass Audubon Advocacy, December 13, 2021We also provided testimony on a number of priority bills during hearings last week. These included legislation creating a Massachusetts Flood Risk Protection Program, improving solar energy deployment, and establishing forest reserves.


It’s Hunting Season:   Wear blaze orange from now  through end of December.  Be safe, be seen!  While hunters are required to wear blaze orange during certain seasons, all people who are outdoors this fall should wear blaze orange as a precaution for increased visibility. Keep pets leashed and visible.  Place a blaze orange vest or bandana on your pet to keep it visible.  Make your presence known.  Talk loudly or whistle to identify yourself as a person. Visit Mass Wildlife Hunting Information to learn more.


Video of “Navigating White Supremacy Culture in the Outdoors and Institutions- Mardi Fuller gave an  eye-opening presentation on how white supremacy culture normalizes its own experiences, histories, and narratives, including environmental ideology.  Mardi spoke about her perspective as a Black outdoors woman and gave examples of the barriers marginalized people face in accessing the outdoors. Watch the recording of Mardi’s presentation here.   The On Belonging in Outdoor Spaces team: deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Farrington Nature Linc, The Food Project, Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, Mass Audubon, and The Walden Woods Project

Nature Walk video with Tom Tidman and Clare Seaton at Ice House Pond and Morrison Farm (35 min)

Ecosystem Services:  What Nature Does for Us and How We can Talk About It”- presented by SVT’s Christa Collins

 SVT’s Backyard Invasives from Kristin O’Brien’s talk on Tuesday, 9/14, and other resources. 


From Friends of the Assabet River Wildlife Refuge:
Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity in the New Year?
Friends Board Clerk Needed~ Starting January 19, 2022
The Clerk role is a great opportunity to learn more about our Friends programs and board activity in support of the Refuge as well as U.S Fish and Wildlife Service refuge updates.Training and ongoing support is provided and approximate time requirement is 4 hours per month.
Clerk role description:
•Take minutes during board meetings on the 3d Wednesdays of each month, 6:30pm-8pm, via Zoom
•Email DRAFT minutes to board one week before the following meeting, and upload minutes after they are approved.
For more information, please send an email to the Friends at: forward to hearing from you!

From Boston Area Gleaners:  The farming seasons is ending, but our volunteer projects will continue, and we could use your help!  While there may be fewer harvesting opportunities at this time of year, we plan on continuing to sort and pack food at Stonefield Farm every week.  This includes our ‘Just Eats’ grocery box packs every Wednesday and  Thursday, where we work together to fill family-sized boxes with produce and grocer staples.  Volunteer with the Gleaners!  Register here. We are also always looking for more ways to connect with more communities and new volunteers.  If you are part of a community that may be interested in working with the Gleaners, or have suggestions for volunteer outreach, please email us at

Daffodil Bulbs Planted at East Acton Village Green (corner of Concord Road and Great Road) – Thanks to the team of volunteers Siva, Shalini, Linda, and Cath, who planted 200 daffodil bulbs and 3 trees  on 12/2/21 to beautify the new East Acton Village Green!  Thanks to the Fochtman family for donating black spruce, white spruce, and hop hornbeam trees.  To volunteer, email

Associate Land Stewardship Committee member needed for Acton Canoe Launch and the Assabet River Blue and Green Trail. Duties are occasional summer mowing, periodic cutting of invasive knotweed, trimming overgrowth, walking the trail, picking up litter. Average time required, 1-2 hours per week year ‘round.

Seeking stewards to assist with Great Hill Conservation Land and Nashoba Brook Conservation Land. Please email Bettina Abe for more information or call 978-929-6634. 

Support Acton Conservation Trust while you make purchases on AmazonSmile!  ACT will receive a small payment, and these add up! From your desktop or laptop computer, AmazonSmile is available at at on your Web browser. Bookmark it for easy use! AmazonSmile is available from your mobile phone as well. To activate AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app, simply tap on “AmazonSmile” within the Programs & Features menu or Settings and follow the on-screen instructions.  


Walden Pond in Concord 7 am-4 pm 915 Walden;   978-369-3254, bridal paths, and farm roads.  Boat ramp Sunday – Saturday: 5 AM – 5:30 PM.Parking:  MA resident $8; Non-MA resident:  $30  Annual and senior passes NOT sold in park, use link to purchase a pass:

Walden Pond in Concord 7 am-4 pm 915 Walden;   978-369-3254, bridal paths, and farm roads.  Boat ramp Sunday – Saturday: 5 AM – 5:30 PM.Parking:  MA resident $8; Non-MA resident:  $30  Annual and senior passes NOT sold in park, use link to purchase a pass:

Emerson-Thoreau Amble, Concord, MA This Winter Hike is available for groups of 4 or more by reservation only.  Call 978-318-3061 or email to request your date and time.  Tours leave the Concord Visitor Center located at 58 Main Street Concord, MA, rain or shine.Adults (13+)  $20Youth (12 and under) $15Senior Citizens (65+) $15

Camp Acton is Open! Pope Road, Acton Fee is $25 per site reserved through he Recreation Department. Limited to 10 people per site.  Visit to learn more about Camp Acton. Please complete the registration form 48 business hours prior to desired reservation date. Payments are due upon reservation confirmation. Portable toilet on site. All users must follow social distancing, regulations and posted guidelines.  Please complete and send camp Acton Permit application via email to or fax to 978-929-6333. Please allow up to two business days to process.

Boxborough Birders is a local, all-volunteer group of bird watchers with varying levels of experience. Local walks in Boxborough, Acton, Harvard, Stow, Bolton, Littleton, are organized during spring and fall migration and occasionally beyond.   Our walks are free of charge and most are scheduled on weekends. (Due to Covid-19 pandemic, all scheduled walks for 2021 will be limited in size, masks will be worn, no shared equipment and social distancing required). Visit their website: for links to local birding spots, photos, and more.   You can sign up there to be on our mailing list and get all the information you need. We hope you will join us out on the trail soon.

Birding Kits available for curbside pick up
Acton Memorial Library, Main Street, Acton
The library has two Birding Kits available for loan to Acton residents. Each kit includes a canvas field bag with Eagle Optics 8 by 42 binoculars with case, Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America, Birding for the Curious, Town of Acton Guide to Conservation Lands and a laminated copy of Sibley’s Backyard Birds of the Northeast, a quick reference card. The kits circulate for two weeks. Acton residents may place a hold on a Birding Kit by contacting the Reference Desk, 978-929-6543 or email  Give your card number and phone number and the Circulation Department will call you when it is ready for curbside pickup.


Susan Mitchell-Hardt President, Acton Conservation Trust

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